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Week 6
(counting from first day of last menstrual period)
Around 4 Weeks After Conception

Please keep in mind that this information is approximate. Each pregnancy is different and growth rates vary. If you have any questions, please check with your care provider.

Fetal Development:
second monthMy Heart Belongs to You!
The first heartbeats have begun! The baby is now an embryo and is about 1/17 of an inch long. Growth is very rapid this week. The umbilical cord develops. The eyes and ears begin to form as well as an opening for the mouth. The heart has begun to pump blood and most of the other organs are well under construction. Buds form on the body that will become the arms and legs.

Exciting week!

Multiples: Same as for singletons.

Maternal Changes:
This week tends to bring on the nausea. Morning sickness is a constant companion any time of the day. You may be craving certain foods while the very thought of other foods will send you to the porcelain goddess.

Because this is a critical time in your baby's organ development, avoid alcohol, substances, drugs, and treatments (perms, hair coloring, manicures, etc.) that you don't really need. If you haven't yet, make your first prenatal appointment with your care provider.

Multiples: Morning sickness can be very severe with multiples' pregnancies. Since your fluid requirements have increased, be sure to drink lots of water to keep hydrated when the vomiting is severe. Contact your care provider if you have any concerns at all.

When and How Do You Tell the World?
You may be so excited that you want to tell the world immediately. Or, you may want to wait and cherish the secret. Some parents worry about miscarriage and prefer not to tell "just in case" and wait until the threat of miscarriage is past. (However, friends and family can be an enormous source of support in the event of a miscarriage, and you may be missing out on this support by not sharing the news.) The bottom line . . . do what feels the most comfortable. Make it a special event whenever you do spill the beans. Our StorkNet readers have shared some of their unique and special ways they've shared their great expectations.

Signs of Miscarriage:
Every mom worries about the possibility of miscarrying. If you have any of these signs, contact your caregiver immediately:
  • Bleeding
  • Cramping and/or abdominal pains
  • Passing of grayish or pinkish tissue or blood clots
Not every cramp or every drop of blood is a sign of a miscarriage. Many women bleed during pregnancy and go on to have healthy babies. It is an important warning sign, however, and you should notify your caregiver.

In the case of multiples, it's very possible to miscarry one twin and carry the remaining twin safely to term.

Ideas for Partners:
If morning sickness has hit home, there are a few things you can do to help: 1) Certain smells can make Mom queasy - even things like coffee can set off a wave of nausea. Try to keep these things away until the morning sickness abates; 2) encourage Mom to maintain a healthy diet high in protein and carbohydrates and to drink lots of fluids, especially water; 3) set some saltine crackers or pretzels by the bed and encourage her to eat some BEFORE she gets out of bed; 4) understand that she may not feel up to cooking, cleaning and other household chores right now. You can be a big help to her (and baby) by suggesting she rest while you do some of her chores you don't normally do.

Inspirational Thoughts:
It is the child in man that is the source of his uniqueness and creativeness. ~Eric Hoffer

Reading:
Managing Morning Sickness: A Survival Guide for Pregnant Women by Miriam Erick, published by Bull Publishing, 2004.

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